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It’s official: Morales new Ombudsman

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MORALES: I have never met the President before. RAFFY LERMA

President Aquino on Monday named retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales as the new Ombudsman, boosting his administration’s drive to file cases against “the corrupt and their accomplices.”

Morales’ possible appointment as Ombudsman was earlier opposed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a subject of several corruption cases being built up by prosecutors.

Mr. Aquino announced Morales’ appointment during his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) in the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives, drawing the most applause from the audience.

“When the new Ombudsman, former Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, takes office, we will have an honest-to-goodness anticorruption office, not one that condones the corruption and abuses in government,” the President said.

He was referring to former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who resigned in April days before her impeachment trial at the Senate was to start.

Before Gutierrez resigned, President Aquino assailed her inability to file cases against officials of the past administration.

With Morales at the helm of the Office of the Ombudsman, Mr. Aquino said he expected “that this year, we will have filed our first major case against the corrupt and their accomplices.”

“And these will be real cases, with strong evidence and clear testimonies, which will lead to the punishment of the guilty,” he said.

No case if no evidence

Morales, 70, said she was “honored” by the appointment, but made it clear that she would not be pressured—even by Mr. Aquino—into filing cases against Arroyo unless evidence warranted it.

“I will not! I don’t have that history of vindictiveness. I don’t have that history of being a tool of anyone,” she told reporters at the Batasan complex shortly after the President delivered his speech.

Asked how she would go about prosecuting Arroyo, she said: “I have always said we go by evidence. If there is probable cause, then we hale her to court. If there is none, we might as well dismiss the case.”

Morales said she learned about her appointment only at around 3 p.m. or about an hour before the President delivered his Sona.

Before the formal announcement, she said she had been getting text messages speculating on her possible appointment. “But I was invited (to the Sona),” she said.

FVR, Erap

Former President Joseph Estrada and his predecessor, Fidel V. Ramos, welcomed Mr. Aquino’s appointment of Morales as Ombudsman.

Ramos went out of his way to congratulate Morales. “It could not have gone to a better person with great wisdom and legal expertise. It’s a very, very delicate job but … we should always remember the right path,” he told Morales, shaking her hand.

Morales is said to be a critic of former President Arroyo, but Justice Secretary Leila de Lima downplayed the possibility that it was a factor in her appointment.

Mr. Aquino earlier vowed to prosecute Arroyo and other officials allegedly involved in graft and corruption during her nine-year term.

“It’s not the anti-Arroyo (image) per se. She has a high sense of independence. If you analyze her decisions, whether as ponente or dissenter, we can see through the high sense of independence that Justice Morales has,” said De Lima, who admitted voting for Morales at the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).

Age factor

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has expressed reservations about Morales’ ability to handle cases at the Office of the Ombudsman because of her age.

“She’s the best judge of herself,” the senator said. “So many cases are filed at the Ombudsman and you have to have enough energy.”

Told about Santiago’s observation, Morales said: “She’s entitled to her own opinion. I was wondering if they could measure my energy by my age. I told the JBC, which interviewed me, that if I was that old, the wellness results belied those charges against me.”

Now that she had been formally appointed, Morales said she would “see to it that we will have a graft-free government.” It was Morales who administered Mr. Aquino’s oath of office on June 30 last year. Her appointment came more than a week before Aug. 4, the deadline for the position to be filled up. With a report from Cynthia D. Balana

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Tags: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo , Graft and Corruption , new Ombudsman , retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales , SONA 2011

  • Anonymous

    kaya na rush sa ospital si GMA ng e announced ni Pnoy na si Morales ang bagong ombudsman.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SMDNY6MNWRV2ISZU2JFEYLPODE Zorro

      haha tama ska ung nabuking na 1 billion expenses sa coffee.. hehe mukhang c gloria ung uminom ng 1 billion worth of coffee na un kya ayon inatake na

      • Anonymous

        kung sana lang ininum lahat ni gloria

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations Ombudsman Morales…go ahead and make our day

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2SWD2TVNX5354ZVMAOMARAD5HY Pakurhalla

    i think the new Ombudsman suffer from CMD.

  • Anonymous

    Firstly, I congratulate Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for her appointment. The mere fact that Pandak Arroyo opposed her appointment as Ombudsman, the more is Justice Morales rightfully qualify and fitted for the position.

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations to both the president for choosing her and Mrs. Carpio-Morales for being chosen as incoming Onbudsman.  I would like to hear from those culprits who have had nothing to say but negativities.  Yet, I hope, the new Ombudsman, once sworn in, will do what she’s expected to do and apply the law according to the law of the land (Constitution) and to the best of her ability and without reservation.  Let the cards fall where they may. The country needs a person of integrity that can be entrusted to fulfill the justice-deprived of the people of the country – and it’s you.   More power to you Mrs. Carpio-Morales and may God bless you in your future undertakings.

  • Anonymous

    the commitment of PNoy to the Filipino people to prosecute all the corrupt will now see the true light. Justice Morales is the best choice to handle the job knowing her independence in her job as one of the justices of the supreme court. She is fair and does not tolerate to be used by anyone even the highest official of the land 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DQNFWZJHJACLFTNUDFLC5EVHGM Noli

    Congratulations to the incoming Ombudsman! She deserved to be in that position. Good luck.

  • http://twitter.com/tenseoiltoys Andy Dufresne

    Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, Congratulations!!!

    Mabuhay ka, God Bless Po, Nasa-likod mo ang mga Pilipinas para sa pagbabago.

    Good choice, Pnoy

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MLT3C52YVCD2RK6NB4HU77OR4Q Maxwell

    Thank you Mr. President for appointing Ms. Conchita Carpio-Morales as the new Ombudsman of the Philippines.

    Hail to the Office of Ombudsman!

  • Anonymous

    Thank God it’s Justice Carpio-Morales who will be the next Ombudsman. Maybe this time our country will be seen as no longer a haven for crime-does-pay crooks. Congratulations PNoy for the right choice.
    To Madam Ombudsman – “Go get them”. God speed….

  • Anonymous

    Hope she will not succumed to pressure. God help her

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TNVY5PMFNA4CJKSOSZLILVZ45U marilou

      I am afraid she prays to a different god.

  • Guest

    OK talaga sa website na ito. OK mag blog. Not like sa Phil. Star. Hindi mo maintindihan kung ano ang patakaran. Kaya may nag blog na you are not the only site sa internet.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TNVY5PMFNA4CJKSOSZLILVZ45U marilou

      Maraming bayaran si GMA sa blogging sa Star.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ANRHUYZ4XRUXS6RMNHEOO7HN74 SSC

    sana po sa ilalim ng pamahala ni new ombudsman ay makikita na natin ang totoong tuwi na landas,paruhasin ang taong gov’t official na nagnakaw ng kaban ng pilipinas,eto na po ang huling pag-asa ng bayan natin para sa tuwid at pagbabago ng pilipinas,at sa edad po ninyo,bagong kayo tawagin ng ating mahal na diyos, ay mayroon din kayong nagawang kabutinhan, tuwid na pagbabago sa atin mamamayan at ating bansang pilipinas,so that you will be always remember in our philippine history.mabuhay po kayo! and god will always bless you. 

  • Anonymous

    “see to it that we will have a graft-free government.”
    a very big promise..but i like that…we’d really love that

  • Anonymous

    “see to it that we will have a graft-free government.”
    a very big promise…

    but i like that…WE, would love that.

    He**, you could even run for congress (and most probably win) if you manage to pin the Arroyos.

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Conchita Caprio Morales mere presence must have some kind of debilitating effect.  It immediately sent someone to the hsopital!

    • Anonymous

      What goes around comes around.

  • Anonymous

    I like the President’s choice of Retired Justice Morales as the new ombudsman.  She brought new hope to the desire of most Filipinos to have a ‘clean’ and honest government.  This will surely bring shivers to the corrupt government officials who are used to ‘tongpats’, ‘hatian sa BIR and city assessors’ office’, overpricing and 10% sa public works and flagship projects kuno, and government procurement office, payroll-padding, ghost-projects and ghost-deliveries, ‘return-to-sender’, etc.  The Senate and House of Congress should also pass a “Whistle Blower Bill” that protects and rewards the whistle blower. Now that the legislative have just clipped the wings of abusive, arrogant, and perks- and bonus-loving directors of GOCCs, everything’s looking good in our country. Mabuhay ang ating bansang Pinas.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/J4X5RZIRHCGVSXJWSH7DEFN6WI rodger66

    gawin mo muna bago ang salita Lola, sawang-sawa na kami.Alam namin sigurado, matatapos na ang term ni pinoy walang mangyayari sa Luisita at corruption…tingnang halimbawa si De Lima, magandang pakinggan ang mga decision pero hindi ‘ata nakarating kay pinoy o kaya’y lumampas…

    • Anonymous

      Ang corruption ay hindi mawawala yan Adolf. Kaya wait and see ka nalang.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5BLJIWZ5FQSNTOVCJMDDWQJNI4 Archangel

    Well Its all up to us, if we stop now and let everything fall in the hands of the President ang Justice Morales, baka ma twist, our President needs also our guidance not only his cabinet so better we maintained what is happening now…about Justice Morales, let us all wait and give her a chance maybe she will make a difference.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5BLJIWZ5FQSNTOVCJMDDWQJNI4 Archangel

    Many government agencies mentioned before involved in corruptions, well, it is a hard task For Justice Morales to look into and may even those cabinet member of the President once get involved may also be subject to the same investigations…not sparing even one…then i will solute ou Mam… 

  • DarkJustice

    Hope and pray she is the right person for the Ombudsman..If there are sufficient evidence for all the corrupt govt officials,prosecute immediately..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LILBHPK4SWJ55TRDT466HIT7BM guardian

    Kung hinde man sila (mga korap) masingil ng taong bayan sa pagnanakaw………… hintayin niyo lang sisingilin sila ng kung ano anong sakit!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KLPCCEL5ADIWVG7GICVNRNP3OA I Love This game

     MOST CORRUPT LADY in the Philippine history, ARE YOU READY to face her majesty? :(

  • Anonymous

    ““She’s the best judge of herself,” the senator said. “So many cases are
    filed at the Ombudsman and you have to have enough energy.””

    If the new Ombudsman has enough energy to file just one airtight case against Gloria, that will be enough legacy for her.

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